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Monday, March 31, 2008

No Pets Allowed!

So it was Spring Break last week… as well as the last week of the month. So, between no school and Trav working every day, the kidos and I have had a lot of togetherness. With the 75 and 80 degree weather, our week included what turned out to be a delightful zoo adventure on Wednesday and a few trips to the park.

One afternoon at the park, there was a family there with a puppy - an adorable, fluffy little puppy. Gracie and Tessa loved the puppy. They petted it, played with it, held it, and were pretty high with "puppy fever" all the way home afterwards. Since we were also at the zoo that week, animals had been a recurring theme that day and so Gracie kept asking when we're going to get a puppy, and in the process reiterating her dismay over me "sending Mickey away".

Back Story: We used to have a dog. When we lived in Illinois Trav and I got a blonde cocker spaniel from a farm - Mickey. When we brought Mickey home, he too was an adorable, fluffy little puppy, and ever so precious - but that did not last. Mickey grew to be a gigantic cocker spaniel. He was stubborn and awful. He became extremely attached to Travis and had severe separation anxiety issues (we even tried to medicate him once). He barked ALL the time, and freaked out whenever anyone came over. Despite tons of money spent on preventing and treating them, he constantly had fleas, and would literally grab food off our plates while we tried to eat.

Over the 10 years we had him, I grew to literally hate that dog. And after Tessa was born, I just couldn't put up with him anymore, and finally... we gave him away. Now, we really did give him away. After weeks of begging Trav, I put an ad in the paper, and a very nice (and unsuspecting) couple came right off the bat to get him. I must say - I was beyond thrilled to see him go.

Gracie (who was 2 and a half and at the time and referred to Mickey as "Bad Dog") did not even notice when he left. It was months before she asked us about him. But when it finally came up (which was something like, "hey, what happened to our dog,") I told her that we just really couldn't take care of Mickey anymore and so we sent him where he would have lots of room to run, play, and bark. She never really bought it. I even once tried the old "I'm allergic" excuse... but she knew I just didn't like the dog.

So, while it comes and goes in spurts, Gracie gets on these "puppy" kicks. She'll sigh and in her best sad voice say, "I really miss Mickey, Momma." Or my favorite, "I sure wish I had a puppy like [insert the name of any number of children she knows]." I always smile and just tell her we just can't have a dog, and that some day when she's older and has her own place to live, she can get a dog if she really wants one. And while all you animal lovers are thinking I'm all terrible, let me just say I'm also serious! Dogs are fine as long as they don't live with me. No pets in my house again! Maybe a goldfish some day, if they're lucky.

The most recent "puppy kick", went on two days last week, and I had had enough! I finally told her we were not getting a puppy, and I didn't want her to ask me again! She reluctantly complied.

Now, one of Gracie's favorite things to do these days is just as I'm tucking her into bed, she begins to pepper me with questions - random questions about anything. She also likes to rehash her day and mention anything she's excited about or list any current grievances she may have - anything to stall the bedtime process. So last night after a whole list of "why's" were discussed, I was finally tucking her in and giving the good night kisses when in her sweetest voice she asked me this:

Gracie: Momma, how do puppies kiss??

Me: Well, I don't know. They probably rub noses or something. I'm not sure.

Gracie: Well, you know, if we had one, then you would know.

Sneaky, sneaky...


Melissa Johnston said...

Amen to no pets! I agree Tricia!

Tracy said...

that was just about the sweetest thing I've read today...smart little girl! Side note - we acquired a cocker spaniel about 3 weeks ago...so far so good.

team larsen said...

First, we both have too many children to have any pets around! You can only clean up after so many living creatures and then you just have to say enough is enough. Second, we try to convince our children that dogs live at grandparents' houses. Kate is desperate for a dog but we're hanging in there so far. Kate and Gracie can get together and mourn the lack of a childhood pet. : )

bugs & sunshine said...

that ROCKS! we are a no animal family as well. who wants to spend extra money on pets shots/food when taco bueno's are popping up everywhere? then, they always die and that is just a bummer. did you tell your kids that? haha just jokin!!

bugs & sunshine said...

i know! i always liked watching her show too. shane has always really disliked her. we haven't been able to pick up her channel in a couple years, but it is still a bummer that she's gone off the deep end with her theology! it's really kind of scary to think about all the influence her opinion has. now, about ai, i was so happy last night. i can now continue watching without bitterness for the rest of the season, or at least until next week. brooke was workin' those curls last night wasn't she?! she has the best hair!

Melanie S said...

Beautiful children!